Michael Thomas Keen: 19th March 1940 – 12th April 2009

It came as a great shock when I heard that Mike Keen had died after a short illness. His family attended the Sheffield Wednesday match at Loftus Road and at their request there was a minute’s applause in his memory. As far as the match was concerned, it must be noted that the R’s came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 as they did at Wembley in 1967 !

On Monday, the first person I met in the car park was Mark Lazarus and soon after ‘Topper’ (not sure if I know his real name but that’s what many R’s fans know him as) came over with our ex-keeper, Mike Kelly. There was a very large turnout in the Milton Chapel, Chilterns Crematorium, just outside Amersham. The entry music was Johnny Cash’s ‘Orange Blossom Special’ and it was standing room only for many of the mourners.

His sons, Mike and Kevin, himself a well known footballer for West Ham of course, paid tribute to their Dad. We were told about other aspects of his life, all very moving and very sad. The Reverend Martin Courtney asked us to reflect on his life as another piece of his favourite music was played, a very poignant song in the circumstances, The Carpenters, ‘Yesterday Once More’, I thought about some of those amazing times in the 60’s when he was our captain.

‘Lookin’ back on how it was
In years gone by
And the good times that I had
Makes today seem rather sad
So much has changed.’

The final hymn was a football hymn, ‘Abide With Me’ and the final song was Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’. There were many from the football world present including from the 60’s era, Mark Lazarus, Rodney Marsh, Tony Hazell and Mike Kelly. Representing the Club were, Gareth Ainsworth, Terry Springett, Keith Ryan, Steve Gallen and Dave Robinson. Also paying their respects were Gianfranco Zola, Paul Parker, Martin Allen, Paul Goddard and many others.

Many thanks to Liz Finney for doing the flowers.

1940 – 2009

Steve Russell

3 thoughts on “Michael Thomas Keen: 19th March 1940 – 12th April 2009

  1. Sounds like a very decent turn out by the great and the good of football. I’m glad that Mike had such a good turnout for his service as it really should be he seemed to have touched many lives both in and out of football..
    RIP Mike Keen

    Interestingly last Thursday I was invited to an England fans forum at Wembley stadium in their Club Wembley section. Either side of the entrance to the suite where the meeting was taking place were black and white pictures of events that had taken place at the old Wembley including a photo of Mike with the cup being chaired by his jubilant team-mates, it was a very poignant moment.

    Steve, I should’ve asked if you could pick me up one of those commemorative booklets for me.
    Ah well never mind!

  2. My wife was a teacher and taught Kevin for several years when he was a boy. She met Mike several times at Parent’s evenings and said he was always a very nice, genuine guy. RIP Mike.

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